Bethlehem calls off criminal probe of mercury spilll

"We have looked into it and, at this moment, we cannot conclude on a source of the mercury," said Cunningham. "We can't find any indication where it came from."

The supervisor said there was no evidence to move forward with a federal investigation or to contact Homeland Security, but said, "Our detective did talk to the FBI."

Cansler stated no town workers were the subject of an investigation, saying at the time, "It's not that we think someone did it, but there's no source for it."

Chief Water Plant Manager Richard Sayward said there are on average between six and eight workers at the plant during any given day, and one or two at night.

"It's an around-the-clock operation," he said.

Rick Georgeson, a Region 4 DEC spokesman, said on Monday, June1, his agency was notified "within the time required," but it is unknown how long the mercury has been there."

"We had our responders over there at the water plant and there was 2 to 4 tablespoons of mercury found on the site, which has been removed," Georgeson said. "I understand it [mercury] could have been there for quite some time."

The mercury and other contaminated materials were cleaned up but were not removed from the site until recently. The Spotlight took a tour of the water plant facilities and the Vly Creek Reservoir on Wednesday, June 17, and witnessed the materials being taken away in 55-gallon drums from the water plant by Precision Industrial Maintenance, Inc. The company was the same one hired to clean up previous spills at the water plant.

Cunningham said the company was not only removing the materials from the latest mercury discovery, but also from previous cleanups that were contained but not removed from the property until that day. He said the May mercury discovery and cleanup cost "more than $10,000."

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